CE Barometer: positive construction outlook in April survey

By Mike Hayes28 May 2021

Positive outlook remains, but hopes of a ‘quick fix’ appear to be waning

The April 2021 barometer survey was completed during the first three weeks of May.

The balance figure (the difference between those reporting on improvement or deterioration in conditions between February and March 2021) stands at 18.0%, just under 11% lower than last month’s figure; while still a positive result, the move is in a markedly less optimistic direction.

Of the respondents to the latest survey, just over a third (34.4%) said business had improved since the previous month. This is almost 9% lower than the previous survey.

Almost half of respondents (49.2%) said business activity was unchanged from the previous month, while a growing number (16.4%, compared with last month’s 14.0%) said things were worse this month.

The sentiment regarding business a year from now shows a similar if slightly more obvious progression away from the strong positivity of most of the first quarter surveys, with 55.7% of respondents predicting better business, compared with last month’s 61.4%.

At the same time, 12.3% of respondents predict a worsening of business, compared with just 7.9% in last month’s survey. Again, the balance figure is positive, at 43.4%, but is nonetheless close to 10% lower than the previous result.

The CE Barometer survey is sent out to a broad cross-section of construction industry professionals, including contractors, equipment manufacturers, materials suppliers, surveyors and many others within Europe’s construction supply chain.

The April survey contains responses from professionals in 19 European countries, with – somewhat surprisingly – the number of respondents from Latvia knocking Germany off of its usual top spot.

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